Park connection

Sharon McHugh
Thursday 11 Mar 2010

MUMA selected for Whitworth Art Gallery expansion

The London based design practice MUMA (McInnes, Usher, McKnight Architects) has been selected to design a £12m extension to Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. The firm was one of five finalists shortlisted in a RIBA sponsored competition that drew 130 entries. In addition to MUMA the finalists were Amanda Levete Architects, Edward Cullinan Architects, Haworth Tompkins and Stanton William.

Upon selection of MUMA’s design, chair of the judging panel Tom Blooxhan M. B. E said, “All of the short-listed designs were outstanding and had unique strengths, however MUMA’s shone in its thoughtful and sensitive response to a complex brief. Amongst many delightful touches the prospect of visiting a café in the tree canopy was particularly enjoyed, along with many further connections between the gallery and surrounding park landscape. MUMA demonstrated care not only in the development of new design but also in their consideration of improvements to the existing building.”

The architects will now work on a detailed design of a new second entrance and extension for the gallery, connecting it more directly with Whitworth Park in which it is situated at the southern gateway of the University of Manchester campus. Plans call for an art garden, second entrance, a new informal café in the trees, a landscape gallery and a study area. Developed plans will presented as part of the final stage of the Whitworth’s Heritage Lottery Fund Bid in 2010.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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